Recently, while cleaning the house, I had a realization. The realization that I would never have a space for myself in this house if I never put myself first. It was this realization which led me to work on reclaiming my desk.
I have, until recently, been writing this blog while sitting on my couch. It’s quite a picture to imagine someone sitting balancing a computer in their lap while snuggled in fleece blankets. Though, for full disclosure, I started blogging on an iPad. So the image was less balancing an object in my lap while I tappy -tapped on a keyboard and more trying to write an article with my thumbs. You might ask why I was doing that when in all likelihood there was a flat surface somewhere in the house I could put my computer on. You’re not wrong, of course. Once I acquired a computer, and graduated from writing my blog with my thumbs to all ten fingers, I sussed out that this wobbling while typing thing was not going to work. Computer, welcome to the dining table.
Yup, you read that right. The dining table. Because apparently I liked carting my computer to the table each morning and then carting it back to some other flat surface each night before the family ate. But why? Why was I going to all these lengths when there are a pair of desks side by side against the wall, one with enough The Legend of Zelda items near it to clearly belong to me. That’s because my desk, in all it’s structural glory, was a mess.
How did it get this way
Moms have a tendency to put themselves last. It’s what we do. It’s one of the ways we show love for our kiddos. In moderation, this is fine. The trick is to not put yourself last all the time. Balance in everything is key.
So the year turned to a new one and I find myself with kids who are a little older, who can take care of themselves on their own better, who can manage their emotions, their thoughts, their actions a bit more than before, and I find myself with time. Time to breathe, to think, to relax, and to reclaim some of the pieces of me that I put aside while the kids were tiny little balls of energy and need.
And I looked at my spaces in the house, and saw how I had put them last. Last to clean, last to tidy, last to be mine. I looked at my desk, piled high with materials from the kids projects. A space that should have been mine to create and write, instead covered with remnants of things I cleaned off of other surfaces. Things that had no home or I was too exhausted to sort correctly; the piles of “I’ll get to it later” that I never got to.
And I realized, it was time. Time to reclaim my desk.
Have a look at what I started with. Some where under the pile of stuff that didn’t belong anywhere near my desk, was, in fact, my desk.
I got in there and pulled out all the stuff that was not mine and put it elsewhere. Let all that Lack stuff clutter up the living room for a bit instead of finding a home at my desk. Rice for draft dodgers welcome to the floor of the pantry. I pulled everything off my desk and if it didn’t have someplace else to go I put it on my dinning table. Nothing was going to go back on my desk unless it was meant for that desk.
The desk. I told you it existed.
What what? I have a desk top that is clean with my pens in containers and my computer is actually on my desk. What is going on.
But it didn’t stop there. Momentum is like a small trickle that suddenly pushes you off a waterfall.
I have things on my wall. What alternate universe have we fallen into. I hate putting things on the wall. Scratch that I hate committing to putting things on my walls because I worry that I won’t like it and will have to move it and ugh what a pain. But that’s something I’m also working to overcome this year. So those posters that have been hiding on that top shelf collecting dust instead of being oogled got put up.
That pile of stuff on the desk had to be gone through. I love my Legend of Zelda collectables, but there is something to be said about minimalism. Large scale, statement pieces, lots of visual satisfaction, these are all good. Having to dust lot of little pieces doesn’t work for me. Either all those things need to be used or they needed to go. Some got used, some got reserved for another space and some got let go.
The Final Result
And there she is. My desk – nice, neat, functional, and pretty. In reclaiming my desk, I reclaimed a piece of myself that was not lost, but put aside while I had no energy to give it. With the kids a bit older, I can make room for myself in the house again. If I continue to put my places last on the cleaning list, I will never have the energy to clean them. By the time I clean up one space that the family uses, another space will be begging for my attention. So I put this space first. It stays neat and is an anchor in the house for me. A place that I can return to to craft or write. And I can still be all snuggled, cozy in a fleece blanket while I do it.